General Birding

Breeding Birds

Please think very carefully before posting any information on scarce or rare breeding species both here and elsewhere online.

A list of ‘at risk’ species in the county can be found here. Many of these receive full legal protection under Schedule 1 and/or are rare in the county and may be vulnerable to persecution/disturbance. It is an offence to intentionally disturb any of the Schedule 1 species during the breeding season without a valid licence. This also applies to anyone taking photographs of these species at or near the nest or whilst feeding dependant young. 

You should also apply these principles to vulnerable species without the wider legal protection. 

Although some species may be found breeding at numerous locations, please keep information about them limited to well-known sites (e.g. Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and Aylesbeare Common for Dartford Warbler). Others may be found as obvious migrants and as such can also be posted eg coastal Ring Ouzel and passage waders, or raptors eg Little Ringed PloverRed Kite or Marsh Harrier.

If you have any doubts and think there is a chance there may be breeding, either because of the habitat or behaviour of the bird(s) then do not post, but please submit your records to the County Recorder and, as appropriate, the RSPB

Please be aware that egg collecting and other forms of disturbance and persecution remain very real hazards for some of Devon’s birds. Unfortuately this can involve people wanting to photograph or obtain close views of the  birds, as well as eg egg collectors. 

Every year editors on this site have to remove or edit posts which breach the code outlined here. Please play your part in making this unnecessary. 

Thank you.

Posted March 20th at 3:43 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

Please take extra care when visiting Dawlish Warren. We have been informed that due to the recent bad weather there has been significant erosion from Groyne 10 eastwards. This means that access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be via the beach only, with a risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water! Signs have been put up to alert people to the hazards, but people need to be aware that access routes that they have become used to may not be available and they need to exercise extreme caution,  with the possibility of being cut off by the tide, and people are strongly urged not to try climbing the sand cliffs. Further information is available on the Teignbridge District Council website.

Posted November 9th, 2018 at 11:08 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding


If you follow our Blog but are not currently a member of Devon Birds please consider joining Devon Birds to help us with the upkeep of running the website and this service as well as our valuable conservation work .

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 9:14 am by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Sightings Page Changes

Acting on comments to Devon Birds some changes have been made to this page. To the right of this header post you'll see there are now several subjects for you to choose to read and post on. Just click your chosen subject and use as previously.

Please be careful not to post under the wrong subject. If you do, you can still easily go back to edit and change the subject yourself so it appears on the right page.

Please try and keep posts short, particularly in the Scarce / Rare Birds & Passage Counts page. Photographs are still very welcome.  

For help with ID email photos to

Posted June 30th, 2016 at 9:24 pm by George & Julia Harris in General Birding

Wednesday 31st January 2018

Hembury Woods

Late afternoon: 1Firecrest and 1 Woodcock plus Dipper, Marsh Tit, GS Woodpecker and other ubiquitees.

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 11:08 pm by Andy Smith in General Birding

Buckfastleigh to Dartington

Not less than eleven Pied Wagtail and three Grey Wagtail at the Buckfastleigh SWWA treatment works this morning.

Staverton bridge, Goldcrest, Dipper, Jay, Wren and Grey Wagtail. 

The finch flock on Warren lane, Dartington seems to have grown significantly since my last visit, predominantly Chaffinch but at least five Brambling seen with the main flock feeding on the more open ground of the seed field.

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 3:39 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Stoke Gabriel

Kingfisher surveying Byter Mill Pond for fish. 2 Shelduck on Mill Pool. A Goldcrest in the churchyard Yew (but no Hawfinch). A single Common Sandpiper on the wall of the Mill Pool behind the cafe.

Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper

Posted January 31st, 2018 at 12:40 pm by Bill Coulson in General Birding

Tuesday 30th January 2018

East Budleigh Churchyard

Five hawfinches showing well in the sun between 9.15 and 9.45 this morning

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 6:07 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Brixham to Exmouth

Berry Head - Adult Iceland Gull - well spotted Dave!

Goodrington Sands: Red-necked Grebe close in.

Exmouth Beach: 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Eider, 5 Common Scoter.

Stover Lake: Pair Mandarin Duck, 29 Goosander, 4 Pochard.

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 5:40 pm by Rob Macklin in General Birding

Berry Head

Distant views of the adult Iceland Gull leaving Brixham > E out to sea at 09:35. The "tatty winged" Glaucous Gull came in close with c.100 other large gulls, following a fishing boat that was obviously gutting and throwing things off the stern.

Really good views of c.20 - 30 Harbour Porpoises, inc several leaping, throughout the am. At least 30 Common Dolphin passed the head at Midday before > S; but a mother and calf gave exceptional views, at the foot of the cliff, clearly visible above & below the water!

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 3:45 pm by Dave Holloway in General Birding

Kingsbridge Estuary - Spoonbill

At 1300hrs today a Spoonbill flew low down the Kingsbridge Estuary turning into Bowcombe Creek. 

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 3:23 pm by David Pakes in General Birding

Plym Estuary & Saltram

This morning at low tide: 10 Goosanders (2 drakes, meaning we’ve had 11 birds this winter), 42 Common Gulls (winter peak), Kingfisher, 4 Jack Snipe, 5 Snipe, 50 Meadow Pipits, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers heard, but only 2 Wigeon seen.

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 2:10 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Dawlish Warren

The Long-tailed Duck showing well in the shallows at low tide along with 2 GN Divers and 1 Eider Duck.

Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Posted January 30th, 2018 at 1:51 pm by david cawthraw in General Birding

Monday 29th January 2018

Bowling Green Marsh

A quick afternoon visit produced 2 Ruff, Male Pochard, several Pintail and Gadwall plus a few Greenshank, 1 Greylag Goose and 2 Little Grebe. More details

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 10:07 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding


Female Hawfinch showed well in the cemetery between the chapels early afternoon. 

One Ruff still present on Bowling Green Marsh late morning.

One Common Sandpiper on riverside just up from the Recreation Ground at midday.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 8:09 pm by Terry Smith in General Birding

South Huish

Seven Cattle Egrets in field with cows just up the road from the cafe, the (presumed) American Wigeon x Wigeon hybrid drake with 65 Wigeon & Mediterranean Gull 1st-w.
At South Milton Ley - Firecrest, 8 Chiffchaffs (including prob tristis), 2 Snipe & Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 6:12 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Exwick etc.

Barnacle Goose - distant views from Exwick Mill (grid ref SX 90839 93974) - looking north to where there is a new pond. Was associating with a Canada Goose which appeared (at distance) to have angel wing. No sign of the Common Scoter. Also there a Dabchick and numerous gulls. Coming back along the Exe about 200 Redwing in trees beside Duckes Meadow playing fields. Finally Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail on the Northbrook.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Tarka Trail Braunton

On the trail next to Tesco Chaffinch, Goldfinch flock, 4 Bullfinch and a fairly dispersed Greenfinch flock of about a dozen birds. 2 very smart Dippers on the Caen River. Greenfinch and all the regulars on the feeders at home.

Posted January 29th, 2018 at 10:25 am by R Barnes in General Birding

Sunday 28th January 2018


Female Blackcap on the bird feeder this morning in my back garden.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 6:56 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Plym Estuary

Maximum count so far this winter, of 203 Dunlins. Also 7 redhead Goosanders, 105 Redshanks, 7 Oystercatchers, 8 Wigeon and a Teal.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 5:42 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Paignton town centre in the area where the Black Redstarts have been reported no sign of them but a male Blackcap, six Redwing, two Wren and a Dunnock. 


Torquay Harbour four Rock Pipit, two Turnstone and six Purple Sandpiper.

On the sea off of Tor Abbey a Great Crested Grebe.

Further to the reported Hawfinch at Torre on the 26th, single bird seen briefly but lost after a flock of Goldfinch flew into the tree that it was feeding in, in the same area Sparrow Hawk, Jay, Grey Wagtail, Greenfinch and a small flock of Long Tailed Tit.

Back home at South Brent, Buzzard, Raven and seven Bullfinch 3m and 4f which from memory is the best home count I have had for this species.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 4:13 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


Red Kite over the garden at 14:50pm.

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 3:09 pm by Margaret Phillips in General Birding

Torbay Boat trip

Another good trip out into Torbay from Brixham this morning. On our trip around 9 Grey Seals, 11 Common Dolphin, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 400 + Gannets ( mostly adults), some Razorbills, small groups of Guillemots, 4 Great Northern Divers, Black- Necked Grebe, 8 Fulmar, 3 Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe and 30 + Kittiwake. Starting my day as I walked to the boat in Brixham Harbour a Kingfisher and Redshank and on our return walking back around the harbour the Kingfisher again but this time managed to show it to two people who had been on the trip. A rewarding morning!!

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 2:13 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Torbay boat trip

Some photos from this morning's boat trip from Brixham. Hundreds of gannets and a small pod of common dolphins north of Berry Head; see Nigel's post for trip totals.

Guillemot, northern race Gannet Great crested grebe
Guillemot, northern race                                Gannet                                         Great crested grebe

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 1:36 pm by Chris Proctor in General Birding

Common Scoter Exwick 27/01/2018

The Male Common Scoter that was on the flood relief channel behind Exeter St Davids station Exwick showed well yesterday morning. Despite the poor conditions I managed to get a record shot. The bird was not too bothered by joggers but the dog owners were allowing their animals to chase anything they could. When I went back this morning to get some better images in better light it was nowhere to be seen. 

Common Scoter Male
Common Scoter Male

Posted January 28th, 2018 at 11:55 am by John Wilkes in General Birding

Saturday 27th January 2018


Just some of my sightings around Occombe this afternoon, in improving weather: Sparrowhawk, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Treecreepers, Coal Tit, 10 Great Tits, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Blue Tits, flock of at least 50 Herring Gulls, at least 80 Redwing (but probably more), 2 Jays, and a female Pheasant.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 8:53 pm by Stephen Huggins in General Birding

Lower Tamar Lake

41 Goosander 15m 26f, 1 Tawney Owl, 2 Little Egret, 1 Willow Tit.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 6:57 pm by Rod Mudge in General Birding

Topsham and Beesands - 27/01/18

Bowling Green Marsh, 1 x Ruff....Beesands, Ring Necked Duck and 1 x Pochard in appalling conditions.

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 4:27 pm by Trevor Leaman in General Birding


A late morning visit to the "seed field" off of Warren Lane, Dartington Estate was worth while despite the poor weather, still a considerable size flock of mixed finch type species several hundred strong.

Predominately Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Linnet but Cirl Bunting, Yellow Hammer (4+) Reed Bunting (2) Brambling (4+) around the hedges Dunnock,  Wren,  song Thriush (2) a small flock of Redwing and Jay (2).

Back home at South Brent a fly over from three Great Black Back Gulls and a pair of Bullfinch using the garden feeders.

Late update from yesterdays visit to Berry Head a flock of 25 Common Scoter flew past the headland.


Posted January 27th, 2018 at 2:55 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

Common Scoter - Exeter

Seen from about 8.30am  - lots of disturbance from jogger, bird still there 10.30 in flood relief channel behind Exeter St Davids.

Video -

Common Scoter Common Scoter
Common Scoter

Posted January 27th, 2018 at 11:58 am by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Friday 26th January 2018

East Budleigh Churchyard

Four hawfinches showing well from 9.45am. Roy Adams (phone conversation) suggests they may be moving in and out of Bicton Park arboretum nearby.

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 6:31 pm by Keith Annison in General Birding

Lopwell Dam & Roborough Down 26-01-18

At Lopwell Dam a distant reference shot of the Green Sandpiper, only showed for a short while the disappeared. At Roborough down a single Reed Bunting was seen, again for a short period.


Posted January 26th, 2018 at 4:53 pm by Greg Bradbury in General Birding

Slapton Ley 25th Jan

Slapton Ley
Gannets in close to shore. On Lower Ley three male,one female Goldeneye and two Black-necked Grebe. Of interest Black-headed gull in breeding plumage.

Adult Gannets feeding close to shore Back-necked Grebe Breeding plumage B H Gull
Adult Gannets feeding close to shore               Back-necked Grebe                     Breeding plumage B H Gull

Posted January 26th, 2018 at 1:30 pm by Barry Rankine in General Birding

Bramblings at Lympstone

Yesterday morning, 3 hawfinches with 10 greenfinches at Topsham Cemetery.  Fifty plus bramblings flocking with chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches and reed buntings at Lympstone.  Bob Barrow/John Lloyd


Posted January 26th, 2018 at 9:22 am by Bob Barrow in General Birding

Thursday 25th January 2018


Water treatment plant
A quick dawn visit to the coastal path produced 4 Red-throated Diver, a Fulmar, 10 Shag and 10 Skylark in the fields.

Stantyway Farm
On my way back to Otterton I was drawn by a large mixed Finch and Bunting flock around the farm / football pitch. The flock comprised of 1 M and 4 F Brambling, Chaffinch, C100 Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, C20 Reed Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer and a Cirl Bunting.

more details

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 10:26 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding


A quick look this afternoon- Dunlin increased to 190 on the Plym Estuary and Great Northern Diver in the Cattewater.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 10:15 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding


Please note that the venue for the East Devon branch AGM (7.30 pm on 20th February) is now the Otter Inn, Colaton Raleigh.  Our speaker is Mike Langman.  Look forward to seeing you there!

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 9:06 pm by Geoff Green in General Birding

Brixham Harbour.

A quick walk around Brixham harbour and up the breakwater gave me a an interesting range of birds. Up the Breakwater 3 Rock Pipit, a Razorbill on the seaward side and 6 Purple Sandpiper. Checked out as many gulls as possible, Herring Gull, Great Black back and Black Headed but no odd gulls!!! Then went back to the inner Harbour and was rewarded with an hour watching a Kingfisher. This bird has a perch on the side of the Golden Hind and spends time as the tide drops  flying between this vessel and others watching for small fish and feeding. The bird has been about for some weeks.

Still places on the Sundays Torbay boat trip, if interested text 07866202576 or email

       kingfisher Brixham N Smallbones      kingfisher Brixham N Smallbones 2

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 7:03 pm by Nigel Smallbones in General Birding

Emsworthy Mire

Decided to go inland today and was very glad to have brought wellies. Delighted to see a flock of about 40 Fieldfares mingling with around 100 Starlings here today - very mobile but easy to see. Several Meadow Pipits calling too.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 6:47 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Red Legged Partridge

Nr Kenton

Red Legged Partridge
Red Legged Partridge

Red Legged Partridge

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 5:56 pm by Martin Rooney in General Birding

Cranbrook, Exeter.

What a difference a day makes!

(I was pleased to see that the 'tank traps' at the entrance to the railway car parks have been replaced by 'goal posts' which should have been put there in the first place). The car parks may now be entered without risk to your car.

Several flocks of Meadow Pipits present in the Countryside Park. (Note the long and curved hind claws).  The 'swamp' opposite the Railway Station produced a pair of Stonechat.  2 Snipe took off after a Buzzard flew over and a small number of Redwing were present in the hedge rows.  Two Song Thrush were competing in song and a Kestrel was present towards the Education Campus.  No luck to date with the Black Redstart reported near housing opposite the pub (Cranberry Farm). 

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Berry Head

Two Iceland Gulls off the headland at Berry Head late this morning, initially an adult bird flew by and thereafter regular views of a juvenile, looking at the images taken it was the same bird.

Numerous Gannet showing well along with Kittiwake, Guillemot, Fulmar, Great Black Back Gull and a number of Harbour Porpoise, apparently the Common Dolphin pod had shown well earlier in the morning.

On the headland Meadow Pipit and Stonechat.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 3:24 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding


RING-NECKED DUCK  still showing from the hide.

Posted January 25th, 2018 at 1:53 pm by Terry Goddard in General Birding

Wednesday 24th January 2018


Following up from yesterday's posts outlining the Bramblings at Lympstone, I can report that they were still in the same area between the sunflower field and the railway line trees early afternoon today and mixed in with Goldfinches and a few Greenfinches. I looked across the estuary and noted 31 Avocets swimming out amongst the Shelduck.

Popped into Topsham Cemetery on the way but no sign of Hawfinches.

One quick record from yesterday: a male Firecrest was showing well in our garden in Bovey Tracey.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 6:28 pm by Paul Beard in General Birding

Plym Estuary

2 Great Northern Divers, 13 Wigeon & Stock Dove. Peregrine over the Cattewater.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 4:33 pm by Pete Aley in General Birding

Bullfinches Exwick

Two male Bullfinches in the garden this morning were a real treat; first for about three years.

Posted January 24th, 2018 at 2:24 pm by Martin Overy in General Birding

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Bramblings Lympstone

Photos of approx 1/2 the flock of Bramblings at Lympstone (location details as previously posted by others) 

Brambling Lympstone Bramblings in flight (with a couple of Sparrows)
Brambling Lympstone                                              Bramblings in flight (with a couple of Sparrows)

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 10:59 pm by Jo King in General Birding


Just to reiterate Nick’s post. A quick early evening look at the Sowdon Lane area (by the cycle path) of Lympstone flock of C50 Brambling. Very mobile between the sunflower field and trees by the Railway line. Plenty of Chaffinch in the flock too and a few Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Also a single Reed Bunting. More details

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 8:16 pm by Spencer Dicks in General Birding

Wrafton Pond

Photo showing the lobed flaps of skin on the toes of a Coot which act in the same way as webbed feet when swimming.

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 7:07 pm by Rob Jutsum in General Birding

Lympstone Bramblings

Good numbers of Bramblings at Sowden Lane, Lympstone. Moving between the sunflower heads in the field close to where the cycle track starts and the trees by the railway line. Hard to say how many in total but I would say 40+. Also Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Reed Buntings.

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 4:22 pm by Nick Potter in General Birding

Tamerton Foliot Cattle Egret & Lopwell Green Sandpiper

3 Cattle Egret yesterday, 1 today, just north of Tamerton Foliot.  Green Sandpiper was spotted at Lopwell the other day.

Cattle Egret & Little Egret Green Sandpiper
Cattle Egret & Little Egret                                       Green Sandpiper

Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 12:40 am by Shane Willson in General Birding

Monday 22nd January 2018


About 20 plus Turnstones on the Prom at Sidmouth

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 8:32 pm by Rob Jerrard in General Birding

Cancellation of EAST Devon Fieldtrip

Due to the weather forecast for Wednesday 24 Jan it has been decided to CANCEL the fieldtrip to Darts Farm / Bowling Green Marsh planned for that morning.  (Continuous rain is forecast).  We look forward to seeing you at a later date.  Many thanks.

Jonathan and Geoff.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 5:52 pm by Jonathan Ruscoe in General Birding

Exmouth & Matford

Exmouth Coastal this morning ~ seven Seven Goldeneye duck, numerous Shellduck, Brent Geese, Oyster Catcher, Turnstone, Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Rednecked Grebe, three Eider duck and a Common Scoter.

Matford ~ The American Wigeon showing well if a little distant on the back pond as per recent reports, small birds included female Stonechat and a Chiffchaff.

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 2:28 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding

2016 Devon Bird Report

In response to a number of recent enquiries. The publication of the 2016 Devon Bird Report has been delayed. It is currently with the printers and should be sent out in the next 2/3 weeks 

Posted January 22nd, 2018 at 11:27 am by Mike Daniels in General Birding

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